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Stackhouse’s glamorous finish clinches Stanford’s title

2015 Division I Women’s Golf

Mariah Stackhouse’s college career has already been glamorous: Her round of 61 two years ago tied the Stanford University course record (and set the NCAA women’s scoring record) held by an old Cardinal prodigy named Tiger Woods; she led the U.S. to the Curtis Cup title as the team’s first African-American member; and her leadership and achievements earned her a spot among Glamour magazine’s Top 10 College Women of 2015.

Now add one more distinction: Difference maker in Stanford’s first women’s golf championship.

The junior won the final two holes of her finals match with Baylor University’s Hayley Davis to force a playoff, then won on the first playoff hole to clinch the championship, making the Cardinal a surprise champion after entering the tournament ranked 16th in the nation.

The rise may have been unexpected for the Cardinal, but not for Stackhouse. At 14, she became the youngest winner of the Georgia Women’s Amateur Championship, and she has since qualified for two U.S. Women’s Opens and has earned All-America honors twice. But the new format for the NCAA championship gave Stackhouse a new opportunity.

Stackhouse would’ve been proud of her performance under the old stroke-play format: She finished sixth in that segment in this year’s championship, 27 spots higher than she finished a year earlier, to vault Stanford into fourth place. But starting this year, stroke play only starts the championship. The top eight finishers in that round qualify for match play. And that’s where Stackhouse scored biggest.

Stanford and Baylor had already split their other four matches when Stackhouse lost the par-4 16th to fall two holes down. But she won the par-5 17th on a two-putt birdie, then tied the match on the par-4 18th with a 15-foot birdie putt to force sudden death. Stackhouse won the match – and clinched the championship – with a par on the 19th hole after Davis missed a 3-foot par putt.

The Results
2015 Division I Women’s Golf

Stanford def. Baylor, 3-2

Stanford def. Southern California, 3-2
Baylor def. Duke, 3-2

1st: Emma Talley, Alabama, 70-73-73-69 – 285
T-2nd: Gaby Lopez, Arkansas, 70-76-74-66 – 286
T-2nd: Leona Maguire, Duke, 71-74-73-68 – 286

Wanasa Zhou, Arizona

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